GIPL. Fot. M. Śmiarowski / KPRM

Due to technical issues on the Polish side, the Gas Interconnector Poland-Lithuania (GIPL) project between Lithuania and Poland will be completed at least a year later, by 2020 or even 2021.

The delays are not, however, expected to have any major impact on the Lithuanian gas market and in fact may reduce the cost of the project.

"A detailed analysis carried out by Poland's operator Gaz-System has revealed that the expansion of the compressor station at Rembelszczyzna, close to Warsaw, has a large impact on the environment and increases noise levels. The station is located near residential areas and no quick solution to reduce noise levels is available," the Lithuanian Energy Minister Rokas Masiulis said.

Since building the pipeline in the direction of the Rembelszczyzna compressor station is not viable, Poland intends to adjust the route and build the pipeline in the direction of the Holowczyce gas compressor station near the border with Belarus. This station is around 150 kilometers from Rembelszczyzna and is closer to Lithuania. This could not only reduce project costs, but also increase pipeline capacity, albeit taking some extra time due to the adjustment.

Masiulis remains optimistic and says that despite the completion date having been pushed back, the Lithuanian gas market will experience no major impact. He stressed that with international projects such as this, it is important to be prepared for partner states encountering difficulties and assured that the Polish side is doing their utmost to resolve the issue quickly.

The total length of the pipeline will be 522 kilometres, including 165 kilometres in Lithuania. The GIPL project is estimated to cost €558 million in total, of which €136 million will be invested in Lithuania's territory.

LRT

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